Many people aren’t entirely happy with their smile and either want whiter or straighter teeth. While your dentist’s main bread and butter derive from regular check-up appoints, cleaning and remedial work such as putting in fillings or the odd root canal work, they may also offer cosmetic dental solutions for their patients.
To do this they need additional qualifications and be a specialist in a particular field such as implants, veneers or common dental issues such as an overbite.
What is Cosmetic Dentistry?
The branch of cosmetic dentistry is involved with improving the look of our teeth and offers a wide range of different approaches from removing molars and putting in implants to realigning slightly crooked teeth with braces or providing professional whitening for a brighter smile.
Cosmetic dentistry is sometimes a personal choice but it can also be used to put certain problems right. Someone who has a chipped tooth, for example, may want to replace this with an implant or a crown. Someone who has an overbite may want to realign their teeth because they don’t want to damage them in the future.
Types of Cosmetic Procedures
Your dentist may offer a range of cosmetic dental work. The most common you’ll find includes:
- Veneers: If you have chipped, stained or slightly ugly-looking teeth, one of the most popular solutions is to add a veneer. This is a thin cover that can be stuck over the top of the tooth and protect it while looking aesthetically pleasing.
- Implants: This is more invasive and requires a surgical procedure where the original tooth is removed and a synthetic substitute is implanted instead. These are essentially screwed into the bone of the jaw and are permanent.
- Crowns: This is a cap that can be placed over an individual tooth and is suitable if you have a damaged or worn tooth and want to protect it.
- Dentures and Bridges: If your teeth have to be removed, one of the cheapest options is to replace them with a removable denture. Bridges are slightly different in that they are designed to replace missing teeth by crowning the teeth on either side of the space and making two or more crowns joined together over the space.
- Teeth Whitening: This has become increasingly popular over the last decade or so and procedures are improving every year. Professional tooth whitening needs to be applied by a qualified dental team and can be highly effective.
- Teeth Alignment: Another common cosmetic dental procedure is realigning the teeth using a mechanical structure like a brace. For older people, the range of clear or invisible braces available means they can straighten their teeth without feeling embarrassed.
- White Fillings: In most cases, fillings use a greyish amalgam. If you want a more natural look that matches the colour of your teeth, white fillings are a good option.
What’s the Difference Between a Cosmetic Dentist and an Ordinary Dentist?
Within any dental practice, you’ll often find a group of dentists working together. Some of these may well provide ordinary dental services such as hygiene checks and treating cavities and dealing with problems such as gum disease.
Others may also offer more specific services such as implants or veneers. These dentists have often undertaken additional training to provide this kind of service to their patients. Other dental businesses focus entirely on cosmetic solutions for their patients.